More School Stuff

Can you tell that I feel guilty that it’s Wednesday and I haven’t had time this week to come up with a new drink to write about? ‘Tis true.  So I’ll overwhelm you with other stuff instead.

I’m relieved to know that our lawmakers here in the great state of California are implementing new report card criteria.  In addition to traditional subjects, students will now be evaluated in areas such as grit, gratitude, and being sensitive to others.  It’s a relief to know that our students will have these new assessments to assist them in preparation for life.

How does one determine grit?  Or gratitude?  Or being sensitive to others?  Must students perform one gritty thing each day to receive the highest rating?  Who determines what is gritty?  What happens if the teacher doesn’t see the gratitude a particular child displays?  And most disturbing at all given the massive cultural upheavals of the past few years, how is one to determine if a child is sensitive to others?

All of these sound very subjective.  It could be argued that all grading is somewhat subjective, but at least in traditional academic subjects there should be a string of grades on reports, quizzes, tests, etc. to help justify the grade.  But how will grittiness be determined?  More importantly, what are the ramifications if a student is not sufficiently sensitive to others?  Are grittiness and sensitivity somewhat opposite attributes, or are they complementary?  Is being sensitive an act of grittiness?  Does one’s self-identified gender affiliation or sexual orientation (because these are real things in second grade now, mind you) automatically establish one as sufficiently gritty or sensitive?

Yes, I’m skeptical to say the least, but I hear new means for forcing students to acquiesce their personal beliefs in order to get good marks.  We can’t have Johnny/Suzy not getting into Harvard because their sensitivity scores were too low!  Do whatever your teacher tells you to do, dammit, just keep those grades up!


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